1- t )/T ory
Two Orthodox olim from Oak Park
become a singing sensation in Israel.
Shelli Liebman Dorfman
sraeli singing stars — brothers
Shimon and Moshe Bell — spent sev-
eral days with their manager/market-
ing agent a couple of weekends ago.
In other words, Shimon, a combat
medic, and Moshe, a yeshivah student,
relaxed over Shabbat in Ramat Bet
Shemesh with their mom/manager,
The brothers, former Oak Parkers
who moved to Israel more than 11 years
ago with their family, released their
second album, Sheves Achim 2 (Aderet
Music Corp., New York), to rave reviews.
Shimon, 19, and Moshe, 17, made their
first CD when they were 14 and 12, with
both albums titled after their group name,
Sheves Achim, chosen from words of a
psalm about brothers dwelling in unity.
"All my kids have great voices:' said
Rosenthal, mother of seven. "Singing
has been a natural bonding thing for all
of them from a young age."
When the family moved to Israel,
Rosenthal took her sons to try out for
local choir Kol Beramah. From there,
they moved onto Nachman Seltzer's Shira
Chadasha Boys Choir in Jerusalem.
Along the way, Moshe met music
producer/composer Ari Goldwag, who
invited him to sing on one of his CDs,
but their mother encouraged him to
hear both Shimon and Moshe together.
Goldwag produced Sheves Achim, the
Bells' debut CD that included the first
songs the boys composed.
The new album, Sheves Achim 2, also
produced by Goldwag, features Shimon
and Moshe performing 11 new songs,
with both Hebrew and English lyrics,
with their own compositions as well as
Goldwag's and others.
"I don't really see myself as a com-
poser',' Shimon said. "Songs and music
kind of come naturally to me, thank God.
It makes it nicer doing it with my brother
because it changes it from a 'professional'
type thing to a 'family thing, and singing
for us was always a family thing."
He said he has great memories of
Detroit, where he and Moshe attended
Yeshivas Darchei Torah in Southfield.
Moshe is now a student at Ma'arava yeshi-
vah. Shimon studied at Yeshiva Torah Ohr
under Harav Scheinberg until entering
the army; he looks forward to returning
after his Army service.
Goldwag said,"Their musical composi-
tions are quite mature and melodically
pleasing. The slow songs were meant
to be full of heart, stirring emotion and
inspiring on a spiritual level."
Posters of the new CD's cover are in
book and music stores in Israel and the
U.S. And one is taped to the front door
of the Southfield home of Cherna and
Eugene Kowalsky, Rosenthal's parents,
and Shimon and Moshe's grandparents.
"They come from a musical family,"
Eugene Kowalsky said. "Every birthday
and anniversary we all call each other and
sages and harmonize.
"Shimon and Moshe always had natural,
beautiful harmony when they sang. When
they're here, we all sing. When they're
not, every Friday when Cherna prepares
Shabbos dinner, their CDs are playing
from morning until just before Shabbos'."
Rosenthal said, "Making a disc was
not about fame and fortune; it was about
building their self esteem and sharing a
gift God had given them."
For that reason, she dissuaded her sons
from performing in New York, even with
a hefty offer. "They don't even tell people
they are Sheves Achim': she said. It was
four months before Moshe's classmates
discovered that his was one of the voices
on a song that played daily at the school.
"They are unassuming and think its
really funny when people want their auto-
graphs or pictures:' Rosenthal said.
"Thank God, they are just regular guys
living Torah lives who sing well and who
happen to have a hit CD. That's something
for a Jewish mother to be proud of?" ❑
Sheves Achim 2 is available at
Borenstein's Book and Music Store
in Oak Park, (248) 967-3920;
Spitzer's Hebrew Book and Gift
Center in Southfield, (248) 356-
6080, mostlymusic.com and
amazon.com . Cost: $16.95-$19.95.
March 15-21, 2012 I 21-27 Adar 5772 Vol. CXLI, No. 6
Out & About
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Shabbat: Friday, March 16, 7:23 p.m.
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Shabbat Ends: Saturday, March 24, 8:33 p.m.
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